Saturday, January 28, 2017

Polar Sea Ice Trend At Both Poles

Fig. 1
The polar sea ice in both hemispheres is setting records so far this January.

The record being set is low ice extent.

January is a summer month in the Southern Hemisphere (Fig. 1), but it is a winter month in the Northern Hemisphere (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2

Those two graphs are made from datasets that record the ice extent through January 26.

The current ice extent trend is obviously less January sea ice.

That is the same trend that November and December (2016) had:
Sea ice in the Arctic and the Antarctic set record low extents every day in December, continuing the pattern that began in November. Warm atmospheric conditions persisted over the Arctic Ocean, notably in the far northern Atlantic and the northern Bering Sea. Air temperatures near the Antarctic sea ice edge were near average. For the year 2016, sea ice extent in both polar regions was at levels well below what is typical of the past several decades.
(NSIDC, 1/5/17). The trend seems slow, but the year when the once-fabled polar Arctic ice-free sea route opens up is approaching.

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